Granville will have a new mayor in the spring following a surprise announcement at the village board meeting Monday night.
Mayor Jay Niles closed the Jan. 3 meeting by announcing he will not seek re-election when the village holds elections in March.
The mayor, two board members and the village judge all come up for re-election for four- year terms on March 15.
“I’ve decided it’s just time to be fully retired,” Niles said after the meeting when asked why he chose to forego a run at a second term.
After “a great four years,” Niles said, he is looking forward to some new experiences as someone with a little more time on his hands.
After the announcement board member Dean Hyatt quipped Niles had done a good job but “took a part-time job and turned it into a 60- or 70-hour week.”
The chief reason behind the decision is a desire to spend more time with his wife, Mary Ann, enjoying their retirement years, Niles said.
“I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to serve as mayor as well as the challenge of handling a variety of situations each and every day,” Niles said.
Citing a list of projects and initiatives two pages long, including bringing a Tractor Supply Co. store to the village and bringing the Rail Trail project to completion, Niles said none of the work could have been accomplished without the help of the board members, the clerks and department heads; Niles thanked each in turn.
“I want to offer a sincere thank you to all of you,” Niles said.
Village Clerk Rick Roberts said only a handful of people were aware of the decision before it was announced. Roberts said he would most remember the amount of time and effort Niles put into the job.
“Jay has accomplished a lot in four years. To me he’s always been a very engaged and caring figure. He’s sincerely wanted to improve and strengthen the community in any way possible be that through attracting new businesses or providing additional services to our constituents,” Roberts said. “There’s a laundry list to choose from.”
Niles said he was proud of the work accomplished while he was mayor but felt it was time for someone else to take the helm for the village.
A retired school administrator, Niles served a single term leading the village board after being elected in 2007 following recent supervisor candidate Tom Scott’s decision not to run following eight years as mayor from 1999-2007.
Niles also served as a village board member for six years and as a chairman of the zoning commission prior to Tony Stokowski, who chaired the process of updating the village zoning law through to completion.
Although he said he had no specific plans, Niles said he intended to stay involved locally in some way.
“Mary Ann and I will enjoy living here and plan to continue supporting the village and its future projects,” he said.